Chris Capuano Rumors

NL West Notes: Greinke, Dodgers, Padres

The defending World Series champions play in the NL West, but the Giants are not the ones making the biggest headlines. Here’s the latest from the division, starting in Los Angeles…

  • Barring something unexpected, the Dodgers are finished in the starting pitching market according to Olney (on Twitter).
  • Zack Greinke signed for $147MM over six years, and he could earn even more money by opting out three seasons from now, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains. The Dodgers awarded Greinke the opt-out as a compromise, as the right-hander initially sought a seven-year deal with a no-trade clause, Rosenthal reports.
  • One evaluator told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Giants are still a better team than the Dodgers despite Los Angeles' aggressive spending. The Dodgers have questions on the left side of the infield and might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching, Olney writes.
  • The Dodgers have discussed Kevin Youkilis and Anibal Sanchez, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Sanchez may be more of a longshot given the Dodgers' internal rotation options. The team appears to have interest in dealing Aaron Harang, but Chris Capuano has drawn more trade interest, Knobler reports.
  • The Dodgers have talked to the Pirates about Capuano, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
  • Rosenthal wonders if the Padres could be a fit for Edwin Jackson, but concludes that San Diego probably won’t sign the free agent right-hander if he’s positioned to command a four or five-year deal (Twitter links). Padres executives Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch previously worked with Jackson in Arizona.

Trade Rumors: Harang, Capuano, Phillies

Let's round up a few rumblings from Nashville on players who might be on the trade block…

Earlier updates:

  • There have been "no conversations" about trading Andre EthierDodgers manager Don Mattingly tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • One rival executive thinks the Royals will eventually make a deal for Rays starter James Shields, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Within his piece, Knobler explains why the Royals are more inclined to trade Wil Myers than Billy Butler.
  • The return the Twins received for Denard Span has somewhat hampered the Indians' efforts to trade Shin-Soo Choo, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains in a pair of Twitterlinks.
  • Ramon Santiago's name has surfaced at the Winter Meetings as a potential trade candidate, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). While Beck isn't sure if the Tigers would move him, he says the utility infielder could draw interest.
  • The Dodgers are "aggressively shopping" Juan Uribe in Nashville, but predictably aren't receiving much interest, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets that when he asked an MLB official if the Yankees could have interest in Uribe with Alex Rodriguez out, he was met with a chuckle.

West Notes: Headley, Gregerson, Dodgers, Iwakuma

Today we celebrate Veterans Day, a day to recognize every person who serves our nation valiantly in the defense of our freedom and liberty whether it be in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or National Guard. Thank you kindly to all who have served and are currently serving at home and overseas. John Schlegel of MLB.com explains how the national pastime is forever linked with the nation's armed forces and uses, as an example, the statue of Jerry Coleman erected by the Padres this past September. The pose wasn't inspired by Coleman's playing days or by his Hall of Fame broadcasting career, but of his tour of duty as a Marine pilot during World War II. Here's the latest news on the Padres and the other NL and AL West division teams:



NL East Notes: Murphy, Capuano, Dickey, Fish, Phils

The Mets and Dodgers could help each other with a trade of Daniel Murphy for a reliever, speculates ESPN's Buster Olney.  While the Mets need bullpen help, the Dodgers would use Murphy at third base, which the Mets feel is his best position (and where he's blocked by David Wright in New York).  The two sides came close to a trade involving Murphy last December.

Here's the latest from around the NL East…

  • R.A. Dickey had to struggle just to stick with the Mets, relates Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal in this story of how Dickey went from being the low man on the Mets roster to one of baseball's biggest surprises of 2012.
  • The Mets passed on re-signing Chris Capuano since they didn't think the lefty could handle a starting role and wasn't worth a two-year contract, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  Capuano has enjoyed a big comeback season with the Dodgers, with whom he signed a two-year, $10MM deal last winter.
  • Several of the Marlins' top executives were called to Miami for a meeting today, according to Clark Spencer of the MIami Herald.  Sources are split on whether the meeting is standard business or "is anything but" normal procedure, as Spencer figures the club's disastrous June record will be the major topic of conversation in either case.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down how much payroll the Phillies have spent by position over the last five seasons, with the bullpen getting less of a share every year.
  • If you missed it earlier tonight, the Phillies have explored trading Jim Thome to an American League team.

Dodgers Sign Chris Capuano

The Dodgers announced that they signed left-hander Chris Capuano to a two-year contract that rounds out the team's rotation and may signify the end of Hiroki Kuroda's tenure in Los Angeles. The $10MM deal includes an $8MM mutual option for 2014 and $1MM in incentives. Capuano joins Clayton KershawChad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Nathan Eovaldi in the Dodgers' rotation after a bounce-back season with the Mets. 

“Chris is an established Major League starting pitcher who adds to our staff,” GM Ned Colletti said in a statement. “He made more than 30 starts last season was a reliable part of the Mets rotation.”  

Capuano, who has had two Tommy John surgeries, didn’t pitch in the Major Leagues in 2008 or 2009. He returned to the Brewers in 2010 and pitched effectively, mostly out of the bullpen. Then, in 2011, he posted a 4.55 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 42.7% ground ball rate in 186 innings for the Mets. His unsightly ERA may be deceptive, since xFIP (3.67) and SIERA (3.60) suggest he pitched better. The Moye Sports Associates client placed 33rd on MLBTR’s list of top free agents. Ben Nicholson-Smith projected a two-year, $8MM deal for Capuano when he examined his free agent value earlier in the offseason and MLBTR's Steve Adams correctly predicted the Capuano-Dodgers pairing in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest.

The Dodgers have been aggressive this offseason, signing infielders Mark Ellis and Adam Kennedy, catcher Matt Treanor and outfielder Juan Rivera. They also locked up Matt Kemp to an eight-year, $160MM extension, so most of Colletti's offseason shopping is likely done.

Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio first reported the agreement and its terms (Twitter links) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times added detail. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


Rosenthal On Capuano, Fielder, Marlins, Red Sox

The Twins offered Chris Capuano a two-year deal before he accepted the Dodgers' offer, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Here are more of Rosenthal's notes from around MLB…

  • The Marlins have discussed Prince Fielder internally and some team officials like the idea of pursuing him, according to Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi. However, they're more focused on Albert Pujols. Agent Scott Boras is telling teams that Fielder is the last available young power bat until Mike Stanton hits free agency.
  • The Pirates were also pursuing Capuano before he signed, Morosi tweets.
  • One GM says other teams backed off from Jose Reyes after the Marlins offered him $90MM over six years.
  • The Cardinals offered Albert Pujols a nine-year deal worth $190-200MM in Spring Training and haven’t changed their proposal since.
  • The Red Sox are exploring every trade possibility and considering every free agent closer, according to Rosenthal. Boston is hoping to find a bargain somewhere in the crowded market for top-tier relievers.

Twins Interested In Chris Capuano

The Twins are interested in free agent left-hander Chris Capuano, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link).  The Dodgers are the only other club known to be pursuing Capuano, whose desire for a two-year contract was the reason the Mets lost interest in re-signing him.

Capuano, 33, posted a 4.55 ERA in 33 games (31 of them starts) for the Mets last season, though as Ben Nicholson-Smith explained in a recent Free Agent Stock Watch post, Capuano's xFIP and SIERA were each almost a full run lower.  Capuano didn't pitch in 2008 or 2009 due to Tommy John surgery and has spent all seven of his pro seasons in the National League.  He would seem like a good fit in Minnesota, where the rotation is unsettled beyond Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker and Carl Pavano.


NL West Notes: Saunders, Dodgers, Giants

The Rockies have grabbed the headlines tonight, trading Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreeing to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. However, there’s lots more going on in the NL West. Here are the details:

  • There’s a “very good” chance Joe Saunders signs a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Saunders, a non-tender candidate, has a projected 2012 salary of $8.7MM.
  • The Dodgers are looking for starting pitching and remain in on Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (on Twitter). However, Kuroda may be too pricey for the Dodgers, who also like Jeff Francis
  • The Dodgers will have a new owner before long, so Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times asks baseball people what qualities a good owner has. I recommend DiGiovanna’s piece, which suggests passion and money top the list of traits fans might want in an owner. 
  • Incoming Giants CEO Larry Baer confirmed that the team will operate with a $130MM payroll in 2012, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team followed up its 2010 World Championship season with a $118MM payroll in 2011. 
  • For more news on the Rockies, click here.

Dodgers Prefer Kuroda, Harang, Capuano, Francis

The Dodgers have narrowed their search for starting pitching, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Free agents Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Jeff Francis top the Dodgers' list, according to DiGiovanna.

Jon Heyman of SI.com lists the same four pitchers as possible targets and says on Twitter that the Dodgers have less than $10MM to spend (MLB.com's Ken Gurnick listed the four possibilities yesterday). It's looking less likely that GM Ned Colletti will obtain a big bat from outside of the organization.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw won the 2011 NL Cy Young Award today.


Big Bat Looking Less Realistic For Dodgers

Asked about adding a big bat this winter, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told reporters including Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, "As of today, it looks less realistic."  Colletti has no meetings scheduled with Prince Fielder's agent, Scott Boras.  I wouldn't consider the Matt Kemp extension to be adding a big bat for 2012, since he was under team control regardless.

The Dodgers' 2012 payroll will come down from this year's $110MM mark, reports Hernandez.  So far the Dodgers have committed $6.5MM in 2012 salaries to Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis, perhaps with another $1MM or so on the way for Matt Treanor.  The Dodgers' new eight-year deal with Kemp could actually reduce their expected commitment to the center fielder for 2012.  Colletti still hopes to add a backup infielder capable of playing shortstop.  He's also looking for a starting pitcher, with Hiroki Kuroda currently undecided.  Chris Capuano, Jeff Francis, and Aaron Harang are on Colletti's radar if Kuroda does not return, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

Including Rivera, Ellis, Treanor, and the $11.5MM owed to Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones next year, the Dodgers have $52.45MM in contractual commitments over seven roster spots.  If we estimate $13MM for Kemp and $19MM combined for Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw, that's about $84MM over ten roster spots.  Retaining James Loney would require another $6MM or so, pushing the Dodgers to $90MM.  Kuroda or an equivalent veteran starter would likely eat up most of the remaining surplus.